As students return to school, this spotlight focuses on our research on teaching quality and its impact on student learning and long-term academic success of students. IDRA has outlined four dimensions of teaching quality:

  • Instructional Leadership: Creating an environment accepting of and suitable for all students, where communication is key.
  • Instructional Focus: Acknowledging the diversity of students and committing to meeting their needs. The educational community procures the proper materials and ongoing professional development.
  • Safe and Orderly School Climate: Students and their families are treated with respect, the students feel safe in school, and they are afforded opportunities for leadership roles.
  • High Student Expectations: Students feel valued and are aware of the high expectations of them. 

IDRA’s work in defining teacher quality emphasizes that this quality must also be accompanied by teaching quality in the context of a supportive school and community environment as exemplified in the Quality Schools Action Framework™.  Developed in 2005, the Quality Schools Action Framework™ is a change model for school reform that emphasizes that widespread, effective change can only happen when the many aspects of the system work together toward the success of all students. This requires valuing all learners no matter the color of their skin, wealth, religion, gender, national origin, language characteristics, or orientation.

IDRA moves beyond simply defining quality as credentials and includes teacher perspective, instructional strategies, and the surrounding organization of the school and community. Examples that highlight IDRA’s persistent work in building teaching quality and school capacity are online at

Comments and questions may be directed to IDRA via email at

[©2014, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the September 2014 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Every effort has been made to maintain the content in its original form. However, accompanying charts and graphs may not be provided here. To receive a copy of the original article by mail or fax, please fill out our information request and feedback form. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]